Jose Francisco is a very Latin baby boy. You cannot convince him of anything he doesn't already agree with, or decides on his own terms that he agrees with. This includes:
- Having fun in a bouncy air-filled gym with 40 balloons and his two little sisters already inside playing. He took 20 minutes to consider this before deciding it was good and had fun.
- Kissing anyone. My mom has gotten frustrated with him many times because he won't kiss her, which would be flat rude if it was me. I kiss anyone who asks for one (cheeks mostly, exception daughters, wife and mom).
- The last time I was smacking Dulce on the arm three times for shoving her little sister, he came running up to me and hit me on the leg with a fist.
I decided the two smacks I already gave Dulce was good and made him feel that his bravery and confronting the most terrifying thing for a baby boy - an angry father - got him what he wanted: I stopped.
I didn't leave him unscathed and I went "ARRGH" at him, to demonstrate I was mad and if he was going to fight, he had to be prepared for the target's reaction. His response was to go "UHN, UH!" at me and wave a hand, and I relented, and told Dulce to hug him.
- Absolutely everything else.
Well he likes to go to sleep with his mother and he likes to sleep with Maria. Switching this rarely works - sometimes he likes to sleep with his mother, but he usually won't go to sleep with his sister. He will, however, wake up if she or her mother is not there.
Last night Maria was sleeping and he woke her up kicking her for space. He'd gotten himself splayed out on the bed such that he was taking up the whole thing. She gently picked him up to move him and he mumbed, in Spanish, "I love Maria" or "La quiera Maria..." or in Jose Francisco speak, "ra quira marr."
She didn't know what he was dreaming, but as, during the day, you're lucky if you can get a hug from him, she was touched, kissed him on the hair and went back to sleep but remembered the story to tell us in the morning.
He is a good baby boy. He loves his family, his sisters, his mother, his father, his grandmothers... but he doesn't show it like I do. You have to watch what he does.
Running up to a father who is holding and hitting his sister and attacking him? That's love, I think, and while the description isn't reality, from a baby boy's eyes it might have been closer to what he saw.
I feel sorry for my mom, of course. She's a sweetheart and loves demonstrative love, and Jose Francisco just doesn't have any of that to give. She said it right, once: "I love Jose Francisco, and always will, but I'm glad I had you (me) and not him for a son."
Maybe she should think what he'd do if I yelled at her.